Thursday, February 24, 2011

Charlotte Shows Us That Playoffs Are Overrated

Today was trade deadline day and the Charlotte Bobcats were pretty active. Not because they were just 1.5 games back of the Pacers for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and wanted to get some talent for the push. No, they shed salary and stockpiled draft picks to set up their future.

They dealt away Gerald Wallace and Nazr Mohammed and got back Joel Przybilla (who probably never wear a Bobcats uniform), Sean Marks, Dante Cunningham, Morris Peterson and D.J. White. They also pick up a couple of first round picks.

Michael Jordan and the rest of the Bobcats brass decided they were better off not making the playoffs and looking to the future. When deciding between fighting for a playoff berth or ensuring a lottery pick as well as gaining some other picks, the team chose the latter.

That's a sad commentary for the NBA.

The NBA's trade deadline always gives you that sick feeling. Only a few trades are actually made with winning in mind and you rarely see a trade that made both teams immediately better. It doesn't happen. It is Team A adding a guy that was too expensive for Team B.

That is the NBA, where the only way small market teams can acquire anyone is by drafting them and hoping they'll stay. You know, sort of like baseball teams developing talent in the minors and then having to sell them away when it's time to pay up.

Charlotte wasn't the only team doing this. The Houston Rockets had a chance to make a move into a playoff berth. Especially with Denver and Utah dealing off their main players, there will be a couple of teams that could move up into those positions. Houston could have been one of them. But they dealt off Shane Battier and Aaron Brooks for Hasheem Thabeet, Goran Dragic and a couple of first rounders.

The question has been asked before. Is it worth being a No. 8 seed and getting crushed by the Spurs, Celtics or Heat instead of possibly winning the lottery and getting a top three pick? The answer is apparently "no".

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